Are humane and ethically manufactured sleeping-bags available?

Rachel Asked:

Trying to find a humane and ethically manufactured sleeping bag is turning into a very lengthy process. Did you know that in some parts of the world geese are live-plucked for their down feathers? Yikes!
Rachel from Dottenheim

Advisor Ming answers:  An obscure shop in Bhutan called “Tranquilmart” sells a brand lined with cat-hair removed from the brushes of content Thimphu pet-owners. The outer shells are made from recycled fair-trade coffee bags.


  1. A Netherlands firm has started production of a sleeping bag made from plastic bags and cheese curds.

  2. OK, you guys are nuts. All you need to do is buy some used clothing and discarded rags from a registered charity thrift store and chew the fabric into little pieces while listening to Erik Satie. Once you have a satisfactory quantity (contingent on the bag temperature rating you’re after), wrap the fabric with organic fruit leather, and presto, you have your sleeping bag. If you get lost in the wilderness, you can live on the fruit leather and still recycle the bag’s insulation.

  3. Fruit leather is fine, but why discriminate against vegetables?

  4. I shave my head every couple months and keep the clippings. I’ve got a nice comfy pillow so far but aspire to making a full sleeping bag.

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